Kentucky guard Makayla Epps paced all scorers with 22 points and provided the spark the Wildcats needed to come back and blow past the Gators.
Florida jumped out to an early lead, but couldn’t capitalize off of Kentucky’s errant shooting. The Gators led 16-9 at the end of the 1st, but the seven-point lead was ripped to shreds after the Wildcats outscored the Gators by 20 in the 2nd quarter.
"I think we played a little too much individual basketball in that [second] quarter," Florida head coach Amanda Butler said. "I don't think we played very together. To beat a team like Kentucky, that's what you have to do."
After halftime, the Gators showed some signs of life, but could never really get back in the game as Kentucky’s lead stayed too large.
"We came out and threw the first punch. Once [Kentucky] got back up and went on their run, we didn't really answer," said Needles. "We learned from that, and we've learned from this in the past. We'll keep hitting shots, get ourselves in the gym, and make sure this doesn't happen again."
Fortunately for the Gators, they can now set their sights on the NCAA Tournament after an impressive 22-7 regular season.
"We are definitely very disappointed with how we performed today, but we have an understanding that this isn't the end for us," Florida guard Cassie Peoples said. "We have more season to come."
The Women’s NCAA Selection Show will be aired live on ESPN Monday March 14 at 7 p.m.